"Never I Shall Forget These Human People"
From September 1944 to February 1946, the Reading Army Air Field outside of Reading, Pennsylvania, maintained a camp for German prisoners of war, who served as workers at the air base and on the farms around Berks County. Several of the POW’s were assigned to the base Paint Shop, which was managed by a civilian contractor, Roy Rank. Their working relationship was one of mutual respect, which soon developed into close friendships—one friendship lasting a lifetime. After the Germans left Reading, they continued to correspond with Rank over the next several years. This book is based on a collection of 84 letters, the majority written from 1946 through 1950 by two former German POW’s, Walter Götz and Otto Wilke, to their American friend, Roy Rank. Their personal stories during this tumultuous time are told in the context of the greater political events that defined post-war Germany and the beginnings of the Cold War. (355pp. illus. Masthof Press, 2021.)